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Copenhagen Accord, Carbon Dioxide Emissions Reduction, in Trouble in US

In Spite of Promises, Coal and Carbon Dioxide Emissions Seem to be On The Rise
In Spite of Promises, Coal and Carbon Dioxide Emissions Seem to be On The Rise

When it comes to carbon dioxide emissions, coal-burning plants are pretty much the dirtiest in existence.

Even outfitted with modern emissions-reduction measures, coal plants still emit a heinous amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Many expected the recent boom in US natural gas production [in spite of its own special problems] to eclipse coal energy production and reduce emissions.

According to the US Energy Information Administration [EIA], coal has actually been reclaiming some of the market share it lost when natural gas first boomed. January 2007 electrical generation powered by coal was as high as 50%, which slowly dropped to 33% in early 2012. While all other sources were stable, natural gas has jumped to about 33% in mid-2012.

Coal has been on the rise and is back to 40%, and the EIA suggests that it might continue to increase in the future. According to the EIA, US carbon dioxide emissions will likely rise 1.3% this year, and another 0.4% next year, which is bad news for the promises made under the Copenhagen Accord.

President Obama pledged to reduce US carbon dioxide emissions 17% by 2020, or back to levels in 1990, but current projections don’t bode well, predicting further increases as far out as 2040.

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